It’s Saturday night. The house is finally quiet. I went in search of my Brit-coms on PBS, but instead a concert was playing. Missing the Brit-coms made me think about my favorites– “Keeping Up Appearances” and “As Time Goes By” among others. Thinking about “As Time Goes By” made me think about their brilliant cast, which then made me think about Dame Judi Dench. (I’m living out my own version of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” here.) I remembered a quote I’d read from her several months ago:
The more I do,
frightened I get.
But that is
would I go on
–Dame Judi Dench
Not only is she a talented actress, she is also a very wise woman.
So I decided to look up more words from this woman who seems so familiar to me, after years of spending Saturday nights together.
And I found this one.
Be careful what you seek. You just might find it.
She shot that arrow right through my heart. As though she’d been reading my mind.
Because, you see, I do this. I build bridges left and right in my mind and cross all of them, testing them for security and comfort and safety, not trusting what they will be like on the other side unless I check them out. Way in advance. Well before I reach the bridges. And most of those bridges are only in my mind. I will never have to cross them in “real life.” This is how I know Anxiety Girl* is back for a visit–you know, my friend who is able to leap to the worst conclusions in a single bound? Yeah, her.
What would it look like if I didn’t cross any bridges until I came up on them? There’s a fine line between being carefree and careless, between being over-prepared and without a clue…..these fine lines elude me. I usually wind up over-prepared (for things that don’t happen), over-stressed (over things I am anticipating will happen), and over-worked mentally (trying to get all my plans together–plans I NEVER HAVE TO USE). I wish I could no kidding (and sorry if you start hearing the Frozen theme song here) “let it go.” All of it. And try taking life–the joys and heartaches and adventures and rainy, sleepy afternoons–as it comes. Whenever and however it comes.
Unfortunately, I learned the fine art of script-writing my life many moons ago, and it is a hard thing to stop. But I’m trying. I wish there were a twelve step group for those of us addicted to being prepared. I’m not meaning to be facetious here, and I don’t mean to offend those with more serious life-threatening addictions. I recognize it’s a minor one in the whole scheme of things, but it can be somewhat debilitating. I feel like a catcher always in position who doesn’t know which way the ball is coming from, so I’m constantly spinning and watching for it from all directions.
Which isn’t really possible.
And now that I’ve exhausted and mixed metaphors like I do, I want you to know–if you struggle with the “what if’s” and “I’ve got to be ready for anything” and “what is coming next?,” you are not alone. There are several of us. And one moment at a time, maybe we can overcome. Being prepared is not a bad thing. It’s just the being prepared for anything and everything that could potentially, might possibly happen–that, not so much.
I’m going to try to let go and only worry about bridges that I can actually see up ahead. It’s a waste of time and energy to do otherwise, right?
I really wish the Brit-coms had been on tonight. Would have made for a less exhausting evening.
Love to all.
*created by artist Natalie Dee of www.nataliedee.com